I really wanted to like dinner at The Green Cup, a cute little cafe by a covered bridge in Waitsfield village. I've had some wonderful pastries there and a nice (though a little bit sparse and pricey) lunch. They only serve dinner on Sunday and Monday nights and for whatever reason, those are nights we usually stay at home. But I kept hearing good things about it and so last night we finally went.
To start with, the very helpful server offered us a choice of mineral waters, either flat or sparkling, or if we wanted, plain well water. Being admirers if not always an adherers of the Locavore movement, we opted for the well water. Then she explained the menu to us. It is comprised of small plates ($10), medium plates ($16) and large plates ($20) as well as some sides ($6). Dishes are described by techniques, flavors and components. We were encouraged to think not in terms of appetizers and main dishes, but to mix and match freely, all caution to the wind.
But me and my husband? We're just not crazy kids any more. We both opted for a medium plate. He got the Main Crab Cake (Technique- Pan Fried, Flavors- Pickle, Lemon, Parsley, Components-Fresh Greens, Tartar Sauce, Cucumber) and I the Organic Flank Steak (Technique- Marinated and Seared, Flavors- Miso, Lime, Components--Avocado, Charred Scallion) and he also got a side of Local Cold Crop Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil. We both got a glass of Shiraz.
After our wine came, we were served an Amuse Bouche of Turbo and shaved fennel. It was nice but my husband said he would rather they fill his wine glass an extra half inch.
Then came dinner, or rather, our medium plates. The crab cake was a single cake, about the size of a chicken mcnugget, cut in half. It was perfectly formed and overly browned. I had a tiny taste (it was all I dared take, the whole thing could be easily eaten in two conservative bites) and detected more bread crumb flavor than pickle, lemon and parsley. There might have been a little crab flavor, it was hard to tell. The flank steak looked like six amuse bouches; six little bites of steak draped over six little mounds of browning avocado with a little of that charred scallion scattered around. The spinach was a pretty generous portion, but overly salty.
We still had plenty of room for dessert. He had an almond raspberry tart and I had a strawberry rhubarb pie. Both were delicious though if I'm going to be picky, I'd have to say that the pie had a pretty overwhelming orange taste to it that had nothing to do with rhubarb or strawberries. And would it have killed them to give us just a tiny little dollop of whipped cream?
Over all, everything was a little more precious than perfect. I'm all for small portions allowing expertly prepared, exceptional ingredients to shine, but if that is what they are going for here, it came off a little lackluster.